BJP tells Governor to let them prove majority in House

Bengaluru, May 15: An upbeat BJP on Tuesday said that it will stake claim to form the new government in Karnataka, where it is set to emerge as the single largest party in a hung Assembly, a party official said.

"As we will be the single largest party in the 224-member Assembly, we will stake the claim to form the government. By precedence, the Governor is bound to call us to explore government formation even if we fall short of the halfway mark (113)," party's state unit Spokesman S. Shantaram told IANS.

Mocking at the "desperation of a defeated Congress" to support the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) to form a coalition government to keep the Bharatiya Janata Party out of power, Shantaram said the BJP was open to an alliance with the JD-S or seek its support to form the new government.

"We are open to JD-S support, if need be, after all the results are declared. Our approach to JD-S will depend on the number of legislators we need to prove majority in the house or win the confidence motion," Shantaram said.

As the polling was held in 222 of the 224 constituencies on May 12, the halfway mark for simple majority at present is 112.

Elections to the Raja Rajeshwari Nagar seat was postponed to May 28 owing to alleged electoral malpractice and countermanded in Jayanagar following the death of BJP candidate and MLA B.N. Vijaya Kumar on May 4. Vote count for the RR Nagar seat will take place on May 31.

The BJP has won 82 seats and is leading in 22 others, while the Congress has won 54 and is leading in 24 seats. The JD-S has won 29 and is leading in eight others, while counting was in progress in 54 seats.

Ruling out the likelihood of state Governor Vajubhai R Vala calling the JD-S to form the government even with the Congress support, Shantaram wondered how the latter (JD-S) could be called when it will be the third largest party behind the BJP and the Congress.